Raymond Boni

L' Oiseau, l'Arbre, le Biton

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Reissued for the first time on CD, Raymond Boni's first album is a welcome addition to an unfairly thin catalog. Its making is a story in itself. The guitarist would not have been able to record it without the providential help of a UNESCO sound engineer who allowed him into the organization's studio in the middle of the night. At the time, the French guitarist had a precise idea of the territories he wanted to explore, and his original technique was already well-developed. Through three unaccompanied guitar improvisations the guitarist lets his emotions flow freely and produces a music only a highly sensitive and perceptive musician would be capable of. His vision of a world in peace collides with its harsh reality. Boni can scrape painful notes out of his guitar or soar in a lyrical flight. His technique is dazzling and it is hard to believe that overdubs were not used. Boni sounds possessed at times, as if the precariousness of the recording situation brings a more acute sense of urgency. Perhaps the only flaw is that all three pieces tend to run a similar course. In any case, L'Oiseau, l'Arbre, le Biton is a crucial recording which helps listeners understand this unique guitarist's future musical development.